Randomized study of different anti-stigma media

Joseph Finkelstein, Oleg Lapshin, Evgeny Wasserman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: We designed our study to assess if computer-assisted anti-stigma interventions can be effective in reducing the level of psychiatric stigma in a sample of special education university students. Methods: We enrolled 193 graduate students. They had two study visits with an interval of 6 months. The participants were randomly distributed into three study groups: 76 students read anti-stigma printed materials (reading group, RG), and 69 studied an anti-stigma computer program (program group, PG), and 48 students were in a control group (CG) and received no intervention. We used the Bogardus scale of social distance (BSSD), the community attitudes toward the mentally ill (CAMI) questionnaire, and the psychiatric knowledge survey (PKS) as the main outcome measures. Results: After the intervention BSSD, CAMI and PKS scores significantly improved both in RG and PG. After 6 months in RG two out of three CAMI subscales and PKS scores were not different from the baseline. In PG all stigma and knowledge changes remained significant. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that computers can be an effective mean in changing attitudes of students toward psychiatric patients. Practice implications: A computer-mediated intervention has the potential for educating graduate students about mental disease and for reducing psychiatric stigma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-assisted education
  • Psychiatric stigma
  • Special education


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